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Letter: A poem dedicated to all the children in unmarked graves

The poem from KTW letter writer Alba Covaceuszach comes as the nation prepares to mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation


Voices in the Wind

Across our vast land all Canadians stand together from sea-to-sea

Forming an unbreakable, orange chain

To ask for forgiveness for this horrific, unspeakable sin

Towards our Indigenous kin

We can hear the missing children’s voices crying in the wind

Wanting to finally be heard from their unmarked graves

Wanting the truth to be told and their spirits set free

So they can reclaim their names, culture and identity

Forgive us for our ignorance and tolerance to all their pain

I feel ashamed at who’s to blame

They wanted to erase the existence of an Indigenous race

By taking away their most precious possession, their children

To abolish their existence and leave them in unmarked graves

In residential schools built by governments of the past

And ran by religious people who had no remorse, no shame

Let’s pray for forgiveness

Let’s always remember each and every child’s names that went missing without a trace

Let’s promise to never let this horrific crime of genocide to happen again

Do not silence their voice

Wipe away the tears of despair and pain from their loved one’s eyes

So they can reclaim their children and give them back their identity, culture and dignity

And put close to their pain

The world’s eyes are on our vast land

Let’s show the world we all stand united, hand-in-hand, side-by-side

With our Indigenous kin to show reconciliation

To have their voices heard and understood, not as whispers, but as loud cries

To document the truth and no more lies

Rewrite the history of this vast land

To regain the honour, dignity and respect of our Indigenous kin

Only then will we know what a great country we have

When we change our flag to represent and reflect on the true faces of our land

When we walk together hand-in-hand

Where freedom, justice and equality is the same for all

Finally we can hear the voices of the children singing in the wind

Where their souls and spirits are will finally be free to sing

“We’re free, we’re free and finally home”

God bless this vast land, Canada, when we all stand together hand-in-hand

And rewrite the wrongs inflicted on our Indigenous friends

Let’s put an end to our pain

The colour of our skin shouldn’t influence how we think

Because underneath our skin, we’re all the same

Alba Covaceuszach